Under Fire Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Paradis insists that he and the narrator leave the farmhouse before what happens?

2. What does Bertrand say about prophecies?

3. Near the last stretch of his journey to bring the wounded Joseph to safety, the narrator encounters a wounded man that he compares to which of the following?

4. During the offensive, when does the squad come under fire?

5. How does Lamuse find Eudoxie's corpse?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Corporal Bertrand is the aloof leader of the narrator's squad. The men respect his leadership, and he clearly is capable, most of his men having earned medals for their exploits.

Part 1) Describe Cpl. Bertrand as a character. What are his major character traits? What sets him apart, other than his rank, from the other members of the squad?

Part 2) What evidence suggests that Cpl. Bertrand is a capable leader? How does he earn the loyalty of the men who serve under his command?

Part 3) Explain, using examples from the book, what Cpl. Bertrand's leadership style is like in action. How does this contribute to the functioning of the squad?

Essay Topic 2

Despair is a constant threat in the novel. Many characters find unique ways to fight against despair and some are consumed by it. It is the source of strange behavior and adaptive strategies, and the cause of some seemingly suicidal actions.

Part 1) Explain the theme of despair as it occurs in the novel. How does this threat compare to other threats of trench life and warfare?

Part 2) Discuss some of the strategies some of the men develop to stave off despair. How well do these strategies fare. Explain examples of the men falling into complete despair.

Part 3) Using examples from the last chapters of the book, give a last analysis of the theme of despair. How much does it affect the men overall? How successful can they be, in the end, in fighting it off?

Essay Topic 3

The equipment, appearance, and clothing of the poilus is discussed at length throughout the book. They are depicted as individuals, each with a unique look and personality. This individuality forms an important theme in the novel, demonstrating that the soldiers are normal people thrust into circumstances that they have difficulty adapting to and understanding. They maintain this individuality until the final chapter of the book, when the rain and mud make the men of both sides appear the same.

Part 1) Using examples from the book, explain how the author establishes the individuality of the soldiers on the basis of appearance.

Part 2) Discuss how this individuality reflects the soldier's unique backgrounds and temperaments.

Part 3) How does this individuality become an important theme in the novel? Why is it important that the author picks out and differentiates individuals among the masses of the French army? Explain how this theme is developed in the novel, starting with the introduction of the individual soldiers, and ending with the reflection near the end of the novel that war is made up of individuals, but that they fade into nothing in the grand scheme of the struggle.

(see the answer keys)

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